SEO for Therapists: Guide
With the number of internet users multiplying across the globe, digital marketing is one of the best ways for therapists to market their practice in 2021.
Every day, internet users look for answers to their queries that they type in search engines. They are presented with hundreds or even thousands of results based on their questions, and they usually find what they are looking for from the results shown on the very first page.
Optimizing your practice's website to appear on the 1st page of search engines like Google for keyword searches relevant to your business is the ultimate goal of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You can also view SEO as the process of improving your website's online presence in search results, which can help gain more relevant, quality visits to your website.
So how can you reach the 1st page of Google for more keyword searches that related to your therapy practice and services? What is the importance of SEO? Why do you need SEO services or efforts in place? Why is SEO so important for Therapists, Psychologists, and Counselors?
Let's discuss this in this guide on SEO for therapists!
SEO for Therapists
Although many businesses could benefit greatly from SEO, investing in SEO for therapists is extremely valuable, since many people are now seeking help regarding mental health issues more than ever by using search engines to privately seek therapists in their local area.
As per data shown by Google, around 40-50 thousand people search for “online therapy” weekly in the US.
The most common queries that users usually type in Google are keywords such as "online therapist chat" and "online therapist near me."
So if you are a therapist or someone who helps people seeking help with their mental health, it's always a great time to get started with SEO to expand on your authority, online presence, and resources provided by you and your practice- this can be done by improving your website content and keeping your online profiles/listings up to date such as your Google My Business listing as well as gaining valuable links from external sources (the equivalent of peer reviews).
Optimizing your website for search engines will help you get found on Google and will enable more people looking for help to get connected to you directly through your website.
Why SEO for Therapists?
Search engines are the best marketing channel to generate ideal quality traffic (visits) and push your online presence and branding forward. The visual representation below shows questions and keywords that people type in Google. These questions relate to the "online therapy" keyword and give you an idea of what people are currently searching for.
As a website owner, you need to make sure that your website content provides helpful information related to these types of user queries/keyword phrases/questions, in order to increase your chance of ranking for these in your area and gaining quality visits to your site.
Here are some top reasons why you should consider SEO for your therapy practice:
Observing the recent trends using SEO research tools, we see that people are searching keyword phrases related to mental health issues, why they occur, and how they could get help. More people are self-educating themselves and prefer the convenience of finding a therapist in Google, and then receiving help from a therapist through online therapy sessions.
As someone suffering from mental illness, a common major concern is publicly revealing and addressing their issues to people around themselves. Online solutions in the form of web therapy sessions are private and convenient these days. As a result, this increases the need for therapists to continually update and provide quality content on their site to best answer what people are searching for related to therapy and to increase the chance of getting in front of these people, who may turn into ideal clients for your therapy practice.
Build a Brand
A proper Search Engine Optimization could convert your online business into a proper brand that people could recognize by name. In this way, you could get clients locally and offer help to people who do not have physical access to your services.
Showcase Your Work
When it comes to mental health services, people look for therapists that can solve their problems, are trustworthy, and are in demand (to prove worth). They want to make sure that they feel comfortable about who they reach out to when seeking help. Your website, your online storefront, is the best platform to present detailed information about you as a therapist, your therapy services you offer, and why someone should choose to reach out to your practice over others. Helpful, detailed information on your site helps to build trust, helps people find what they're looking for, and can ultimately improve the chance they decide to reach out to your practice for further help.
Getting Started – SEO for Therapists
One of the significant factors that need consideration when it comes to SEO is user intent. User intent is understanding what a person actually wants or is looking for when he or she types a search query/keyword phrase in the search engine. The search engine will try to match the person with a list of website results that the search engine considers closely related to the search query and its purpose.
A Brief Example
Let's discuss the keyword phrase "online therapist chat." As we see, the user is looking for an online chat session to get help. As a therapist, if you offer chat sessions, you need to make sure that your website correctly mentions that you offer chat sessions for your clients, along with any necessary details about the sessions. This will help the search engine understand what you offer, and it will be easier for a search engine like Google to decide that your website page about online therapy chat sessions is the page worth showing to people at the top of Google.
Search Engine Optimization is not just limited to understanding user intent and optimizing website pages. Many other factors play a role in gaining an edge and staying ahead in the competitive online space of SEO, which we will discuss later in this guide. User intent, however, sets an excellent base to make sure that your website is search engine friendly.
SEO for Therapists – Key Factors, Strategies, and Tactics
What is SEO for Therapists?
The goal of SEO for a therapist is to generate traffic or visits to your therapy practice website from showing up in better ranking positions in search engines and converting that traffic into potential client opportunities. Overall there is not much difference in SEO for other niches or industries, but when it comes to SEO for therapists, there are some key factors to consider.
When people look for help regarding mental health, one of the first things they check is the therapist's previous record. As a therapist, reviews from existing or old clients are ethically a gray or dark area, we always recommend reaching out to friends, family, peers, mentors, vendors and others who may be able to provide a great character reference in the form of a review. Winning trust is necessary to convert a user scrolling through your website into a new client. This will boost up your overall presence and improve your online marketing strategies since you'll have some credibility to lean into, improving conversion rates.
Case Studies are a great way to help people understand your work nature and how do you deal with the challenges presented to you. Share your past experiences in the form of case studies to help new visitors understand your work nature. Also, add your work portfolio, work certificates, and services you offer as a practitioner.
Comprehensive keyword research is necessary to set the base for your SEO strategy. The keyword research process involves exploring and finding the right keywords that you could "target" at different stages of your marketing strategy, depending on the topics you'd like to write about on your website that are related to your private practice and therapy services.
With SEO research tools, you can get information on estimated monthly search volumes of keywords, an estimated cost per click to run Google Ads for these keywords, as well as the potential difficulty of ranking for specific keywords. Based on these factors, you could prioritize the topics and related keywords to focus on in your site.
Some examples of therapy-related keywords you could use in your website content:
- Best online therapy
- Online couples therapy
- Online cognitive behavioral therapy
- CBT online therapy
- Affordable online therapy
- Online therapy chat
- Therapist in
- Therapy services in
Optimized Title & Meta Description
Meta titles and Meta-Descriptions are some of the significant factors for the visibility of your web pages on search engines. You could set titles and descriptions for each page of your website. These are not necessarily displayed on pages within the website but are shown on search engines if they match with the keywords that the user is looking for.
The red is the optimized title for the keyword "online therapy." This is one way you could optimize your web page according to the keywords you found in your keyword research.
SEO Checklist for Therapist
The following is an SEO checklist of aspects you to consider in order to best optimize your website for both people and search engines.
Just like your physical office space needs to look good, your website design should also be attractive and user-friendly. Add proper CTA (call-to-action) buttons, show therapy client reviews and testimonials, add case studies if possible, and make sure that your personal achievements, such as education and background, are listed on your website. Also, make sure your website is optimized for mobile users as a majority of people now search using their mobile devices.
Your website should load fast, and people should not be stuck on loading. Also, when Google notices that people are just bouncing off from your website after a short stay, this may negatively impact your website's ability to rank well in search results. Use a tool like: Google's Page Speed Insights to help out!
Make sure that your business is listed on Google My Business and other local directories. This will help people find you and the location of your business. For more details regarding SEO, check out this 2021 SEO checklist published by Semrush.
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